Prefab homes have always been a part of the Dwell DNA. Here you will find prefab homes published in dwell magazine as well as great prefab home ideas. Prefabricated means either panelized, modular, or kit homes. Prefab architecture works for both remote sites and dense urban spaces. Modular homes are popular but can be the most expensive to customize. It is best to change as little as possible when buying prefab. Possible advantages of pre fab include lower cost, higher degree of precision, and less construction waste.

This dreamy, glass bedroom by the lake was created as an early prototype for the prefabricated greenhouse/she kits known as the Kekkilä Green Sheds.
This dreamy, glass bedroom by the lake was created as an early prototype for the prefabricated greenhouse/she kits known as the Kekkilä Green Sheds.
Helsinki architect Ville Hara and designer Linda Bergroth collaborated on a prefab shed-meets-sleeping cabin, which can be assembled with little else than a screwdriver. Bergroth, inspired by nomadic yurt dwellers, wanted an indoor/outdoor experience for her property in Finland.
Helsinki architect Ville Hara and designer Linda Bergroth collaborated on a prefab shed-meets-sleeping cabin, which can be assembled with little else than a screwdriver. Bergroth, inspired by nomadic yurt dwellers, wanted an indoor/outdoor experience for her property in Finland.
Six-inch-square blue tiles cover the walls and floor of the girls’ upstairs bathroom. The towels and rug are also by H&M Home.
Six-inch-square blue tiles cover the walls and floor of the girls’ upstairs bathroom. The towels and rug are also by H&M Home.
"How would a kid draw a house?" architect Per Franson asked himself when designing the Olivero-Reinius family home. The simple prefab structure’s unusual color comes from a traditional source: falu rödfärg, the historic mineral paint that gives the region’s famous barns their red color.
"How would a kid draw a house?" architect Per Franson asked himself when designing the Olivero-Reinius family home. The simple prefab structure’s unusual color comes from a traditional source: falu rödfärg, the historic mineral paint that gives the region’s famous barns their red color.
Heating for the unit is provided by a Spartherm fireplace, with electric heating integrated into the magnesite floor. Walls are insulated with fire-tested wool felt under plywood panels.
Heating for the unit is provided by a Spartherm fireplace, with electric heating integrated into the magnesite floor. Walls are insulated with fire-tested wool felt under plywood panels.
Photo by Patrick Barta
Photo by Patrick Barta
The L-shaped secondary building perches over a craggy escarpment. It offers the best vantage point for taking in the moss-planted roof, forest, and ocean.
The L-shaped secondary building perches over a craggy escarpment. It offers the best vantage point for taking in the moss-planted roof, forest, and ocean.
This 3,200-square-foot structure was assembled with a prefabricated foundation, concrete panel siding, and efficient built-ins, minimizing construction debris and toxins—such as concrete foundation tar—on the site.
This 3,200-square-foot structure was assembled with a prefabricated foundation, concrete panel siding, and efficient built-ins, minimizing construction debris and toxins—such as concrete foundation tar—on the site.
NOEM, a Barcelona–based architecture firm, created a metal-clad house for a young client just outside Madrid. It’s raised 12 feet off the ground to offer better views of the landscape, lending it "the futuristic feeling that it just landed," says Pol Guiu, one of NOEM’s cofounders.
NOEM, a Barcelona–based architecture firm, created a metal-clad house for a young client just outside Madrid. It’s raised 12 feet off the ground to offer better views of the landscape, lending it "the futuristic feeling that it just landed," says Pol Guiu, one of NOEM’s cofounders.
The inspiration for this prefabricated, modular family home on Fishers Island, New York, were the views that Tanney and Luntz saw from a 12-foot stepladder, which was balancing on the bed of a pickup truck when they first visited the site.
The inspiration for this prefabricated, modular family home on Fishers Island, New York, were the views that Tanney and Luntz saw from a 12-foot stepladder, which was balancing on the bed of a pickup truck when they first visited the site.
It takes three to five days to install a Vipp Shelter onsite.
It takes three to five days to install a Vipp Shelter onsite.
A Simple Plan

A Marmol Radziner–designed prefab house, trucked onto a remote Northern California site, takes the pain out of the construction process.
A Simple Plan A Marmol Radziner–designed prefab house, trucked onto a remote Northern California site, takes the pain out of the construction process.
An attentive sensitivity to site played into nearly every aspect of both the exterior andinterior spaces of the home. Architect Peter Rose collaborated with landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh, who worked to craft and maintain the wild, organic feel of the environs. Will Parry, a local builder, custom-fabricated all of the sustainably harvested Spanish cedar-and-glass windows and skylights throughout. Here, a vertical-swinging window at the end of the entry hallway opens directly to a lush expanse of vegetation.
An attentive sensitivity to site played into nearly every aspect of both the exterior andinterior spaces of the home. Architect Peter Rose collaborated with landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh, who worked to craft and maintain the wild, organic feel of the environs. Will Parry, a local builder, custom-fabricated all of the sustainably harvested Spanish cedar-and-glass windows and skylights throughout. Here, a vertical-swinging window at the end of the entry hallway opens directly to a lush expanse of vegetation.
When Abbie and Bill Burton hired Marmol Radziner to design their prefab weekend home, their two requests were “simple-simple, replaceable materials,” says Abbie—such as concrete floors (poured offsite in Marmol Radziner's factory) and metal panel siding—and “the ability to be indoors or outdoors with ease.” Deep overhangs provide shade and protection from rain, so the Burtons can leave their doors open year-round and hang out on their 70-foot-long deck even in inclement weather. They visit the house once a month, usually for a week at a time, with Vinnie and Stella, their rescue Bernese Mountain dogs. Their two adult children occasionally join them. The couple hopes to one day retire here.
When Abbie and Bill Burton hired Marmol Radziner to design their prefab weekend home, their two requests were “simple-simple, replaceable materials,” says Abbie—such as concrete floors (poured offsite in Marmol Radziner's factory) and metal panel siding—and “the ability to be indoors or outdoors with ease.” Deep overhangs provide shade and protection from rain, so the Burtons can leave their doors open year-round and hang out on their 70-foot-long deck even in inclement weather. They visit the house once a month, usually for a week at a time, with Vinnie and Stella, their rescue Bernese Mountain dogs. Their two adult children occasionally join them. The couple hopes to one day retire here.
The units don't even require foundations—simple ground screws from Krinner are enough to support them.
The units don't even require foundations—simple ground screws from Krinner are enough to support them.
Landscape architects Reed Hilderbrand helped fill out the completed prefab by planting sedge grass on one of the house’s two green roofs to reflect the texture of the surrounding meadow.
Landscape architects Reed Hilderbrand helped fill out the completed prefab by planting sedge grass on one of the house’s two green roofs to reflect the texture of the surrounding meadow.
Lushna's dwellings are available in Europe and the U.S., though for customers in the latter, prices can vary based on shipping costs and taxes. The baseline price of Villa Massive, seen here, is approximately $9,375. The canvas-lined Villa Air's is $4,453. To see Lushna's full range of products, visit their website here!
Lushna's dwellings are available in Europe and the U.S., though for customers in the latter, prices can vary based on shipping costs and taxes. The baseline price of Villa Massive, seen here, is approximately $9,375. The canvas-lined Villa Air's is $4,453. To see Lushna's full range of products, visit their website here!
Architect Oliver Lang and his partner, Cindy Wilson, created Monad, a multiunit prefab prototype in Vancouver.
Architect Oliver Lang and his partner, Cindy Wilson, created Monad, a multiunit prefab prototype in Vancouver.
New pine and spruce wood from the Pyrenees (both recyclable and PEFC certified) were selected for the façade of the 1,000-square-foot prefab. Smart blinds cover the windows, rigged to open and close depending on the weather forecast.
New pine and spruce wood from the Pyrenees (both recyclable and PEFC certified) were selected for the façade of the 1,000-square-foot prefab. Smart blinds cover the windows, rigged to open and close depending on the weather forecast.
The roughly 160-square-foot modules, dubbed Mini House 2.0, were built in collaboration with Swedish manufacturer Sommarnöjen, and are delivered flat-packed. The homes are painted wood, and include a shaded deck space, plus full insulation and electricity, for a price of about $29,000. The modules come in various layouts, and can be configured and combined to include a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and living space.
The roughly 160-square-foot modules, dubbed Mini House 2.0, were built in collaboration with Swedish manufacturer Sommarnöjen, and are delivered flat-packed. The homes are painted wood, and include a shaded deck space, plus full insulation and electricity, for a price of about $29,000. The modules come in various layouts, and can be configured and combined to include a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and living space.
For 2015, Vipp, the Danish industrial design company known for its iconic trash cans and all-black kitchens, introduces a 592-square-foot prefab unit called Shelter.
For 2015, Vipp, the Danish industrial design company known for its iconic trash cans and all-black kitchens, introduces a 592-square-foot prefab unit called Shelter.
“The house almost doesn’t exist, but serves as the subtle cloak between inhabitant and environment.”—Cynthia, resident
“The house almost doesn’t exist, but serves as the subtle cloak between inhabitant and environment.”—Cynthia, resident
“One of the goals of Zenkaya was to create employment in a country crippled by [an unemployment rate of over 25 percent],” explains the architect, who likes to call himself a social entrepreneur.
“One of the goals of Zenkaya was to create employment in a country crippled by [an unemployment rate of over 25 percent],” explains the architect, who likes to call himself a social entrepreneur.
The wood shed portion artfully encapsulates all the domestic detritus that would be anathema within the all-glass sleeping portion.
The wood shed portion artfully encapsulates all the domestic detritus that would be anathema within the all-glass sleeping portion.
Tucked away on the edge of a small lake surrounded by mountains and topped off with a grass-covered roof, this hunting cabin designed by Snøhetta is made with locally sourced stones. The 376-square-foot prefab mountain hut sleeps up to 21 guests around a central fireplace.
Tucked away on the edge of a small lake surrounded by mountains and topped off with a grass-covered roof, this hunting cabin designed by Snøhetta is made with locally sourced stones. The 376-square-foot prefab mountain hut sleeps up to 21 guests around a central fireplace.
Since Copenhagen is generally cold, the house was painted black to trap warmth. The result was that in its first year, it consumed so little energy that the client received a generous refund from the heating company. “Many wooden houses in Scandinavia use this trick,” Larsen says. “On sunny days it even radiates warmth, so that in spring and autumn you can sit outside by the wall and in this way extend the outdoor season by a few weeks every year. These weeks are valuable in places with little light.”
Since Copenhagen is generally cold, the house was painted black to trap warmth. The result was that in its first year, it consumed so little energy that the client received a generous refund from the heating company. “Many wooden houses in Scandinavia use this trick,” Larsen says. “On sunny days it even radiates warmth, so that in spring and autumn you can sit outside by the wall and in this way extend the outdoor season by a few weeks every year. These weeks are valuable in places with little light.”
The living room's double height makes the space seem larger that its actual size. Stairs leading up to the sleeping loft are placed next to the open fireplace. The plastered wall and the soapstone tiles on the floor add some roughness to the wooden interior.
The living room's double height makes the space seem larger that its actual size. Stairs leading up to the sleeping loft are placed next to the open fireplace. The plastered wall and the soapstone tiles on the floor add some roughness to the wooden interior.
The roofline of the Tind house prototype, designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune for prefab company Fiskarhedenvillan, has more conventional Swedish gables than the flat-roofed modernism of typical prefab units.
The roofline of the Tind house prototype, designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune for prefab company Fiskarhedenvillan, has more conventional Swedish gables than the flat-roofed modernism of typical prefab units.
Large sliding glass doors allow daylight to fill the living room. Smaller windows are placed in the kitchen area and the sleeping loft. The exterior is clad in heart pine which needs very little up-keep and is known for its strength and hardness.
Large sliding glass doors allow daylight to fill the living room. Smaller windows are placed in the kitchen area and the sleeping loft. The exterior is clad in heart pine which needs very little up-keep and is known for its strength and hardness.
Studio owner Joey Williams uses his space to work from home as an Austin-based media director.
Studio owner Joey Williams uses his space to work from home as an Austin-based media director.
The main building sinks then elevates in full view of ocean.
The main building sinks then elevates in full view of ocean.
kitHAUS prides itself on its stylish, modern prefabs that are built on-site by a team of company employees. Their patented aluminum system takes only a few days to construct, and the homes boast superior energy efficiency, owing to insulated floors, walls, and ceilings as well as glazed doors and windows.
kitHAUS prides itself on its stylish, modern prefabs that are built on-site by a team of company employees. Their patented aluminum system takes only a few days to construct, and the homes boast superior energy efficiency, owing to insulated floors, walls, and ceilings as well as glazed doors and windows.
Outside, Kartell Masters chairs surround a Tom Dixon Screw table.
Outside, Kartell Masters chairs surround a Tom Dixon Screw table.
Since the front door is located in the exterior wall, residents first enter a vast garden before reaching the gable roof house.
Since the front door is located in the exterior wall, residents first enter a vast garden before reaching the gable roof house.
The firm collaborated with Kountry Kraft and its modular manufacturer, Simplex Homes, to expand the palette of materials, including the teak cabinetry used in the kitchen and dining areas. Interior designer David Bentheim suggested the marble backsplash for the bar area. Antique dining chairs, an LED Aurea pendant lamp by FontanaArte, and a Paolo Piva table from B&B Italia complete the room.
The firm collaborated with Kountry Kraft and its modular manufacturer, Simplex Homes, to expand the palette of materials, including the teak cabinetry used in the kitchen and dining areas. Interior designer David Bentheim suggested the marble backsplash for the bar area. Antique dining chairs, an LED Aurea pendant lamp by FontanaArte, and a Paolo Piva table from B&B Italia complete the room.
Franson Wreland also designed the court-yard and a pair of 160-square-foot outbuildings—one is used as guest quarters and the other as storage space. While residents Julia and Fatima Olivero-Reinius chat outdoors, Chippie the dog approaches an Asplund desk and a chair by LucidiPevere.
Franson Wreland also designed the court-yard and a pair of 160-square-foot outbuildings—one is used as guest quarters and the other as storage space. While residents Julia and Fatima Olivero-Reinius chat outdoors, Chippie the dog approaches an Asplund desk and a chair by LucidiPevere.

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